LONDON, March 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
- Government Begins Work on new Happiness Survey - the PFMA has Already Done one
David Cameron and his helpers are set to travel around the UK to find out how happy we are as a nation. The Prime Minister's Big Idea is the National Happiness Index which will gauge the nation's fluctuating mood year by year.
However, a new survey released by the Pet Food Manufacturers' Association (PFMA) may already have done some of the work for him, with the research showing happiness is a warm furry animal (or indeed a nice scaly reptile if that is your pet of choice).
The survey of over 2,000 adults got respondents to rank their happiness levels and found that pet owners rate themselves as being happier than those without a pet.
Nearly 60% of people with pets say their pet makes them a happier person, while a similar number say being with their cuddly companion makes them feel more relaxed. Almost a third state their pet makes them a healthier person.
Whether or not they own a pet - 81% of people agree that "Pets are the antidote to a bad mood" so it's not surprising that when owners do need a lift in their mood they'll turn to their pet above all else, including their partner and chocolate. Non pet owners use music to lift the doom and gloom, while chocolate rates equally with their partner as a mood enhancer.
Peter Duncan, actor, animal lover and one time Blue Peter man, adds: "Through my work I've had the opportunity to see firsthand how pet's can impact on people's well-being. We are now more concerned about happiness and this research suggests a simple answer. All the same, would-be owners should do some homework and find out what type of pet best suits their lifestyle and circumstances to really reap the benefits."
Whilst cats and dogs are traditionally Britain's most popular pets, a wide variety of pets are kept by the nation including rabbits, guinea pigs, budgies and iguanas. With just under half the UK households owning a pet (46%), animal magic is benefitting many contributing to a happier, healthier nation.
Notes to Editors
The PFMA is the principal trade body representing the UK pet food industry. It's 58 members account for over 90% of the market and produce a wide range of products for cats, dogs, rabbits and other pet animals. To find out more, please visit: http://www.pfma.org.uk
The research was carried out for PFMA by Opinion Matters between 23/02/2011 and 09/03/2011 amongst a panel resulting in 2022 UK adult respondents.
 Research conducted by TNS - Face- to - face interviews - Representative sample of the UK population